Wild’s Jost, Steel & Boldy Help Secure Preseason Win Over Avalanche

The Minnesota Wild’s preseason is officially underway and they’ve already faced the defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche twice. Both of their preseason games so far have been against the Avalanche, the first at home and the second on the road in Denver. Many of the big names like Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Marc-André Fleury played in their first game in front of the hometown crowd which was a 3-2 win in overtime.

For their second match-up, the Wild brought some bigger names in Matt Boldy, Tyson Jost, Alex Goligoski, and Brandon Duhaime while the rest of the roster was prospects and a player brand new to the team, Sam Steel. Even without all their big names, the Wild were able to come out on top for the second game in a row with a 5-2 win, as no overtime was required this time around.

Wild’s Power Play Starts Strong

The story of this game came through the power play and the Wild’s combination of Boldy, Jost, and Steel. While they most likely won’t be a line during the regular season, they had a lot of chemistry on the power play, as they combined for two of the Wild’s three power-play goals, and both were scored by Jost, a former Avalanche forward.

While Jost scored the goals, he was set up each time by Steel and Boldy who each tallied two points on the night. There was one other player that was successful on the power play, and that was the Wild’s Nic Petan. He scored a beautiful unassisted goal right in the slot that was one for the highlight reels and definitely drew some attention to his play.

Tyson Jost Minnesota Wild
Tyson Jost, Minnesota Wild (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Wild’s power play was strong and certainly helped gain their win but they also did well on the penalty kill. It was a highly penalized game on both sides with each team registering five or more penalties. The Wild killed off all five and then scored on three of the Avalanche’s eight.

Wild’s Defensemen Leave Gustavsson Out To Dry

It was clear the majority of the Wild’s defense for this game were prospects and not players destined for the everyday roster. They struggled quite a bit throughout the game and left their goaltender, Filip Gustavsson, out to dry. That was how the first goal of the game was scored, the Avalanche took off, went right around the defense, and scored just 19 seconds in.

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The Wild did answer back but the same thing happened at the beginning of the second. Just 20 seconds into the period, the Avalanche found their speed again and flew by the defense to make it past Gustavsson and tie the game at two. Thankfully, that was the end of the Avalanche’s scoring as the Wild’s goaltending of both Gustavsson and Zane McIntyre stopped a combined 38 out of 41 shots, which is pretty good for the preseason.

The Avalanche put up 41 shots to the Wild’s dismal 26, but that wasn’t the only area they need to improve on. They were also beaten in blocked shots, hits, and faceoff percentage after having a great showing in the dot during their first game. In their next game, they’ll want to pay more attention to their defensive game and make sure they’re being more aggressive in the blocked shots and faceoff departments.

Wild’s Quiet But Steady Dewar

While Steel, Jost, and Boldy stole the show when it came to scoring and taking over the power play, there was one player who was consistent but quiet throughout the game and that was Connor Dewar. He didn’t score any goals this time around but he did tally an assist, one shot on goal, and spent time on both the power play and penalty kill. He’s earned veteran status after playing in 35 games for the Wild in 2021-22 and he’s expected to be a familiar face in the lineup this season.

Connor Dewar Minnesota Wild
Connor Dewar, Minnesota Wild (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Dewar still has to earn his spot but with his play, he doesn’t have to worry. He’s always paying attention to the play and making sure he’s in the right place at the right time. In this last game, he didn’t have any defensive stats to contribute but typically he has at least a blocked shot or a hit to help out. Wild fans should really watch Dewar play as he’s a very detail-oriented player and contributes small but important things to the lineup.

Wild’s Full Roster

With two preseason games under their belt, most of the Wild’s players have hit the ice in a game situation but not all together. They elected to split up their roster for the first few games, but they should be getting closer to having their full lineup very soon.

The Wild have five preseason games left and their next will be Sept. 29 on the road again against another division rival, the Dallas Stars. It’ll be interesting to see what roster the Wild will bring with them, hopefully, a good mix of veterans and prospects so they can continue their winning ways and come home with their third win in a row.

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